Alpha's Reviews > The Crystal World

The Crystal World by J.G. Ballard
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's review
Jul 22, 2011

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"This novel is one of the newer novels by Ballard after he stopped writing dystopian fiction. To this day, I haven't read any of Ballard's dystopian novels but I really want to. From what I know, there are three novels that are dystopian. This novel however is the first novel right after ""The Burning World"" or also known as ""The Drought"" - a novel in which the world is a barren desert per say Mad Max or the Road Warrior - and water is very scarce. Like all of Ballard's novels, there is an underlying theme of great importance and the theme on this novel is that salvation can come to those in a different way even if it looks or sounds terrible.

Thus enter the crystal world in which there is a place in Africa in where everything is turning into crystal, the land, the trees, the water, even the living creatures are all turning into crystal and the main character, Edward Sanders, along with other characters Balthus and Suzanne set off to a leper hospital in the middle of the forest but they have to dodge the phenomenon that is turning everything into crystal. However, it is discovered that the diamonds from the mine in the area is the source of the crystalization and not only are all things turned into crystal but they become suspended or immortalized in time. This view of ""immortality"" is what drives this novel.

This novel is a very sophisticated read and there is no major killing or action but more of the importance of expressing the underlying theme of the novel as in all the novels Ballard has written. This is not a very entertaining as in violence, sex, or drama per se but it is a very thought-provoking fiction with a pretty good story for what it is. I suggest a rental out of the library because most people - me thinking on a sociologist's view - will be rather disappointed with this novel if they expect the formula used in a many novels."

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